Preferred weather conditions for hot air balloon rides

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) -This weekend the Northeast Hot Air Balloon Festival is in Northampton at the three county fairgrounds.

Of course, weather is really important for a hot air balloon festival, but the most important weather factor is the wind.

You need light winds at ground level to allow for a safe and slow liftoff and landing. Winds can be a bit higher aloft (higher up), but can’t be too strong.

Winds should also be uniformly blowing in the same direction throughout the area as shifting winds would create unexpected flight paths for the balloons.

Visibility is also important as you must have a few miles of visibility and no fog. Fog would make it difficult to land safely.

You also cannot have rain or thunderstorms for a safe hot air balloon ride.

Unlike planes which can take a lightning hit fairly well, a balloon and the occupants would likely not do well if hit by lightning.

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